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Methodology: ethnographic field studies

  • The methodology of ethnography originally comes from researching and describing everyday practices of foreign cultures.
  • Ethnography insists on studies on site and works with observations, contextual interviews, collection of typical items as well as records in the format of field notes, photos, sound and video recordings.
  • The methodology can sensibly be transferred to researching and describing other everyday practices, like work practices in a bank or government department, esp. to practices of software, intranet and internet usage.
  • Observing a bridge engineer marking a plan
  • Pioneering work was done in the 80s and 90s by Lucy Suchman and others at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Peter v. Savigny's project participation at Xerox PARC was critical for building up his competence in ethnographic field study methodology.

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Peter v. Savigny + Hans-Otto-Str. 12 + D-10407 Berlin + Germany
Mobile: (+49/177) 663 66 69 + Email: pvs@savigny-userresearch.de